COLUMBUS, Ohio The second-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team returns to action after a playing four matches in eight days during the university’s spring break. The Buckeyes (18-1; 2-0 Big Ten) travel to No. 27 Notre Dame for a 4 p.m. match Friday. The match will be played at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Ohio State then resumes Big Ten play when it takes on No. 70 Michigan State at noon Sunday at the Michigan State Indoor Tennis Facility.
Last week, the Buckeyes downed No. 26 LSU (4-2) March 16 in Baton Rouge, La., Coastal Carolina (7-0) and The Citadel (4-0) March 19 in Conway, S.C. Ohio State then returned to Columbus and beat No. 19 Virginia Commonwealth (7-0) March 23. The win against No. 19 VCU extended the Buckeyes home win streak to 65-consecutive matches.
200 AND COUNTING
Ohio State head coach Ty Tucker claimed his 200th career victory against Minnesota March 9 in Minneapolis, Minn. Tucker also captured his 80th Big Ten Conference win against No. 47 Iowa March 7 in Iowa City, Iowa.
STREAKING IN THE BIG TEN
The Buckeyes have won 28-consecutive Big Ten matches. Ohio State has recorded 10-0 records in regular-season play the last two years. In addition, the Scarlet and Gray has claimed the last two Big Ten tournament titles.
BIG TEN RANKINGS
Nine of eleven teams in the Big Ten are ranked in the ITA Top 75.
2. Ohio State
51. Penn State
70. Michigan State
SUCCESS AGAINST THE BEST
Ohio State is 9-1 against teams ranked in the ITA top 75. The Buckeyes have collected wins against No. 5 Ole Miss, No. 6 USC, No. 2 Georgia and No. 9 Baylor. Ohio State’s lone loss came at the hands of No. 1 Virginia in the final of the 2008 ITA National Team Indoor Championships Feb. 18, in Seattle, Wash.
A LOOK AT No. 27 NOTRE DAME
No. 27 Notre Dame has lost three consecutive matches and six of its last nine. The Fighting Irish have collected wins against five teams from the Big Ten (Penn State, 5-2, Michigan State, 4-3, Northwestern, 7-0, Wisconsin, 4-3, and Purdue, 7-0).
The Blue and Gold are led by junior Brett Helgeson. He is ranked 43rd in singles. Sheeva Parbhu comes in at No. 83 in singles for the Fighting Irish.
BUCKEYES VS. FIGHTING IRISH
The Buckeyes are 22-26 against the Fighting Irish. Ohio State has won four of the last five meetings, including a 7-0 decision last season in Columbus. Notre Dame claimed the last meeting in South Bend, Ind. The Blue and Gold upset then-11th ranked Ohio State, 5-2 in 2006.
A LOOK AT NO. 70 MICHIGAN STATE
Michigan State is 11-6 on the season and 0-3 in the Big Ten. All three of the Spartans’ Big Ten matches have been on the road. Michigan State hosts Indiana Friday for its first home Big Ten match before meting the Buckeyes at noon Sunday
The Spartans are led by senior No. 96 Nick Rinks.
BUCKEYES VS. SPARTANS
Ohio State is 35-35 all-time against Michigan State. The Buckeyes are 8-0 against the Spartans under head coach Ty Tucker. Five of the eight wins have been by a 7-0 score.
LAST TIME OUT
No. 2 Ohio State played four matches in eight days. Ohio State beat No. 26 LSU (4-2) March 16 in Baton Rouge, La. The Buckeyes beat Coastal Carolina (7-0) and The Citadel (4-0) in a double-header March 19 in Conway, S.C. Ohio State then returned home for the first time in six weeks and beat No. 19 Virginia Commonwealth (7-0).
IN THE BIG TEN
Ohio State currently sits atop the Big Ten standings with an 18-1 record. The Buckeyes also boast the best winning percentage (.947) in the league.
With his 3-0 record, junior Steven Moneke is No. 1 in the league in singles wins at the No. 1 spot. Moneke is tied for the lead at No. 3 singles with a 5-0 record. Freshman Matt Allare owns the top spot at Nos. 5 and 6 singles with 10-0 and 4-0 records, respectively.
In doubles action, Bryan Koniecko and Moneke are tied for first at No. 2 doubles with a 8-0 record.
2008 ITA NATIONAL TEAM INDOORS RECAP
Ohio State advanced to the final of the 2008 ITA National Team Indoors Championship as the No. 3 seed. The Buckeyes beat No. 35 Boise State (4-0) in the first round, No. 6 USC (4-1) in the quarterfinals, 2007 champion and No. 2 Georgia (4-1) in the semifinals, before falling to No. 1 Virginia (4-1) in the final. It was the second-consecutive year Ohio State advanced to the final of the national tournament.
Three Buckeyes were named to the All-Tournament singles team. Junior Steven Moneke was named to the No. 2 singles spot, while freshman Matt Allare and senior Drew Eberly were named at Nos. 5 and 6, respectively. Eberly and sophomore Justin Kronauge were named to the All-Tournament doubles team at the No. 2 spot.
AGAINST THE BEST
Sophomore Justin Kronauge is 14-4 against opponents who are nationally ranked in the ITA/NCAA Division I polls. For the season, Kronauge owns a 22-7 record.
Justin Kronauge Wins vs. Ranked Opponents in 2007-08
No. 109 Dylan Arnould (Duke), 6-3, 6-1
No. 72 Milan Mihailovic (Texas), 6-0, 6-1
No. 58 Nate Schnugg (Georgia), 4-6, 7-6, 6-4
No. 42 Billy Mertz (Alabama), 7-5, 6-2
No. 38 Clancy Shields (Boise State), 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
No. 41 Raoul Schwark (Minnesota), 6-2, 6-3
No. 67 Ricardo Soriano (Tulsa), 6-3, 6-4
No. 30 Sheeva Parbhu (Notre Dame), 6-4, 6-4
No. 51 Thomas Richter (Indiana), 7-5, 6-3
No. 6 Bryan Koniecko (Ohio State), 7-6, 6-3
No. 98 David Rosenfeld (Miami, Fla.) 6-4, 6-2
No. 66 Omar Altmann (Pepperdine) 6-1, 6-0
No. 64 Cory Parr (Wake Forest) 7-5, 6-3
No. 17 Lars Poershcke (Baylor) 1-6, 5-5 (retired)
Justin Kronauge, ranked 19th in the nation, leads the Buckeyes in singles wins with 22 (seven losses). So far, Kronauge is 9-4 in dual action with 1-1 and 2-0 records at the Nos. 2 and 3 positions, respectvely. He is 6-3 at No. 1 singles.
The pair of Drew Eberly and Kronauge, ranked fifth in the nation, leads the Buckeyes in doubles wins with 16 after posting a 9-2 record in dual action and 7-3 tournament mark.
THE BIG TEN’S BEST
Steven Moneke was named the Big Ten Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week March 26. It was his first such award this season. It is the fifth time this season an Ohio State player claimed the award, the most in the Big Ten. Justin Kronauge has claimed the weekly laurel twice this season. First on Feb. 13 and again on March 12. Drew Eberly claimed the prize Feb. 20. Eberly was the third-consecutive Buckeye to win the weekly award. Kronauge won Feb. 13 and freshman Matt Allare claimed the award Feb. 6.
Head coach Ty Tucker has the led the Buckeyes to 20 or more wins in seven of eight complete seasons at Ohio State. Last year marked a record-breaking year for the Buckeyes as they compiled a 30-2 record for the first time in school history.
BUCKEYE INDIVIDUALS RANKED HIGH
Ohio State sophomore Justin Kronauge, the 2007 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, is the top-ranked Buckeye singles player in the nation at No. 19. In addition to Kronauge, juniors Bryan Koniecko and Steven Moneke are ranked Nos. 24 and 27, respectively. Senior Drew Eberly comes in at No. 111.
The Buckeyes also have two doubles teams ranked in the national Top 25. Eberly and Kronauge come in at No. 5. Freshman Matt Allare and sophomore Mike O’Connell are ranked No. 25.
HOME SWEET HOME
Ohio State extended its home win streak to 65 matches after winning its match against No. 19 Virginia Commonwealth March 23.
The winning streak dates back to the 2003 season beginning with a 5-2 victory over Purdue April 6. In 2007, for the fourth-consecutive season, Ohio State went undefeated at its home courts, going 15-0.
BUCKEYES REMAIN SECOND
After four convincing wins last week, Ohio State remained No. 2 in the latest ITA rankings, which was released March 25. Ohio State held the No. 2 spot for a majority of last season and garnered the No. 2 seed in the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
NEXT TIME OUT
The Buckeyes remain on the road for a 1:30 p.m. match April 2 against Indiana in Bloomington, Ind.